What is Reflexology?

Imagine walking into a softly lighted, tastefully appointed room, taking off your shoes and socks, lying down on a comfortably cushioned reflexology table and for the next hour, while a Certified Reflexologist nurturingly works on your feet, hands and outer ears, you experience profound relaxation as wave after wave of accumulated tension and stresses leave your body. You walk away feeling more relaxed and better than you felt for quite a while.

Definition Of Reflexology

Reflexology is the study, art, and science of applying specific touch techniques to the Feet, Hands, and outer Ears where theory suggests there is a pressure map resembling a shape of the Human Body. By applying nurturing touch in specific ways, a wide range of health benefits have been reported

General Benefits of Reflexology

  • Stress reduction, profound relaxation, for all parts of the body.
  • Pain reduction and pain elimination, such as in the neck, shoulders, lower back and jaw.
  • Improved circulation resulting in better oxygen and nutrient supply to all the cells of the body.
  • Detoxification
  • Improved organ and gland function
  • Increased range of motion
  • Feeling better, greater productivity, enriched quality of life
  • Normalization of body functions
  • Prevention by reducing accumulated stress in the body before health challenges develop
  • Safe nurturing touch


Science, as yet, has not been able to tell us all the ways that Reflexology works. There are approximately 20 theories about how Reflexology works. Some of the theories are:

  • Anthropologic: Nature provided a way for us to balance ourselves through the reflex maps
  • Biomechanics Of The Feet: Bones and muscles out of alignment can keep the reflexes from completely balancing
  • Caring Touch: The healing ability of love is well known
  • Closed Bio-electric Circuitry: Discovered by Bijorn Nordenstrom, this theory suggests Energy flows along blood vessels & through fluid between the cells
  • Laying On Of Hands: Energy flows from hands of giver into body of the receiver
  • Meridian Theory: Meridians — thin energy lines that have pressure points
  • Neurological Theory: Congestion between nerve endings
  • Outer Energy Balance: Balance the energy field around the body
  • Robert Becker: Energy is attracted to the area where it is needed by differences in electric impulses
  • Pieso Electric System: This theory suggests an electrical system that travels through the fascia (shiny connective tissue) of the body.
  • Placebo: Some people get better just because they think or believe they will get better.
  • Rest: Gives the body’s coping mechanism a rest so that self-mending can happen.
  • Zone Theory: Wide strips that run the length of the body, also from front to back
  • Until science can tell us for sure how reflexology works, it is reasonable to suspect that it works for more than one reason, possibly for many reasons. However, the most widely accepted theory is that Reflexology works through the nervous system
  • Neurological Theory The Nerve Theory is the universally held as the main theory of the connection between the reflexology body maps on the feet, hands, and ears, to the rest of the body.


Substance “P”
One school of thought within the Nerve Theory suggests that when imbalance (tension, stress, discomfort, illness, pain, etc.) occurs in the body, a chemical made by the body, scientifically known as “Substance P”, accumulates around nerve endings found in the reflex areas of the feet, hands, and ears that correspond to the stressed part of the body. For example, when there is neck tension, blockage (Substance P) accumulates in the neck reflex area of the feet, hands and ears.

By the way, the ‘P’ in Substance P stands for Pain. By using touch techniques specific to the study and application of Reflexology, nurturing pressure is applied in ways to break down and dissipate the Substance P. With the Substance P and other chemicals having been broken down and dissipated from the reflex area, people report feeling better.

Difference between Massage and Reflexology

Massage deals with touch all over the body with major emphasis on muscular, circulatory and lymphatic systems. Reflexology, by working on complete reflex maps on the feet, hands, and outer ears, not only helps the muscular, circulatory and lymphatic systems, but also profoundly effects the inside of the body, such as everything inside the head, inside the neck, inside the chest and inside the abdomen. In reflexology, only footwear is removed with the client otherwise staying fully clothed



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